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Governor’s summit on school accountability system made positive first steps

This week, education advocates and state representatives gathered for three days to discuss the future of accountability and assessment for our Florida students. Here's what was discussed:

Four Key Strategic Areas 

Interim Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pat Stewart began the summit by discussing four key strategic areas.  During the first day, participants were to identify areas of integration and alignment between each of the four strategic focus areas.

  1. State Standards
  2. State Standard Assessments
  3. School Grades
  4. Teacher Evaluations

Visioning our Future

During the second day, education summit participants identified potential issues, challenges and next steps to accomplishing the vision for standards and state standard assessments. Although Gov. Rick Scott didn't attend the summit, he expressed his appreciation of participants' time and emphasized the importance of strengthening Florida's education system to prepare students for college and the workforce.   

"All of the participants and attendees share a common goal: Making sure that each child in Florida is prepared to succeed," said Governor Scott. "The discussion and ideas generated this week will guide our future decisions and steps we will take through either legislative proposals, action by the State Board of Education or executive action."

Throughout the summit, the importance of maintaining transparency and fairness to students, teachers and schools was discussed. It will be important that the state standards and state standard assessments continue to raise the bar for Florida students' futures.

Moving Forward

 The summit wrapped up yesterday with participants identifying potential issues, challenges and next steps to accomplishing the ideal vision for each of the four focus areas.  The priorities they agreed on as what should be the guiding principles of any efforts moving forward include:

  1. State Standards. Continuing to raise the bar on education standards, by including an emphasis on critical and analytical thinking, to drive continued improvement by Florida students;
  2. State Standard Assessments. Ensuring the assessment that replaces the FCAT will accurately measure the more challenging standards that will be taught to our students, provides meaningful performance information to our students, is cost effective, results are timely provided and we do not unnecessarily become intertwined with the federal government.
  3. School Grades. Improving our education accountability system to further ensure transparency and fairness while providing meaningful and useful information to our parents and educators about how our students and schools are performing; and
  4. Teacher Evaluations. Understanding how our teachers are evaluated, ensuring transparency throughout the process and using a fair system to identify, recognize and reward our highly performing teachers.

To read more about our recommendations for these areas as well, click here.

To read more about the discussions at the education summit, click here.

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Ale'ta Turner